Notebooks Guide

Sony VAIO Z (VPCZ117GG/X) review

Sony VAIO Z: Same Look, Brand New Internals

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Overall rating 9/10
Light and Portable
Powerful Performance

On Z Inside

On Z Inside

On the inside, the Sony VAIO Z retains much of the same design that first debuted, but it has a few tweaks to its looks. But that's a good thing for the VAIO Z as we really do like it. The isolated keyboard design remains a norm for the series, and the trackpad seems similar to the older design. The tweaks we mention however are the newer VAIO functional buttons and the addition of an Auto function for the switchable graphics as the notebook sports both the platform's internal Intel GMA graphics engine as well as NVIDIA's GeForce GT 330M entry-level discrete graphics solution.

Unlike NVIDIA's Optimus solution which can toggle on-the-fly between the graphics engines used, the Auto switchable graphics function (as far as we could tell) switched depending on whether the unit was plugged in to a power outlet or running on battery. Seeing that the GPU implemented was one of those supported by NVIDIA's Optimus solution, we've also tried installing Optimus drivers to see if we can bring the technology's positive qualities to the new Sony VAIO Z. Unfortunately, that didn't work out. Sony has also informed us that there are currently no plans for an Optimus enabled VAIO Z, so don't hold your breath.

So as far, the Sony VAIO Z sticks pretty much to the basics which we are familiar with, only tweaking certain aspects to fit in the new features. With that, let's take a closer look at the inner hardware that makes the VAIO Z a beast of a machine.